Avant, a biotechnology company and developer of an end-to-end platform for cell-cultivated fish and seafood, announced its over $10.8 million round led by S2G Ventures, the direct investment team of Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to building a humane and healthy planet. The round is joined by new investors Blue Ocean of SWEN Capital Partners, Regal Hotels and Thia Ventures and is strongly supported by existing investors, including Lever VC, CPT Capital, ParticleX, Artesian, Good Startup and Alwyn Capital.

Avant technology offers a solution to produce delicious, nutritious, sustainable, traceable fish and seafood without depleting the oceans. Fishing practices are emptying the oceans at a rate of 1 to 2 trillion fish per year, according to a study by U.K.-based fishcount.org, with nearly 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, according to the World Economic Forum. Simultaneously, the consumption of fish is rising at a rapid rate. World food fish consumption in 2030 is projected to rise by 18% from 2018, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Today, revenue in the Fish & Seafood segment amounts to US$580 billion, and the market is expected to grow by 5.3 per cent annually (CAGR 2022-2027), according to data by Statista.

“We are excited to support Avant in its mission to sustainably address the global demand for seafood with cutting-edge innovations,” says Larsen Mettler, managing director at S2G Ventures Oceans and Seafood. “Avant has a highly dedicated team and international group of co-investors who are ready to tackle overfishing and responsibly feed markets around the world.”

The two major challenges for the cultivated meat industry are cost reduction and scale-up. With a multi-pronged approach and patent-pending methods, Avant has achieved over 90% cost reduction with an animal-component free cell culture medium. Avant's plan for a pilot plant in Singapore includes production bioreactors up to 2,000 liters. It is planned for operation in 2023.

“We are very grateful for the huge support of new investors and the ongoing commitment from existing investors,” says Carrie Chan, CEO and co-founder at Avant. “We look forward to scaling up production for commercialization and sending our products to customers by late 2023.”

Avant’s product offerings include cultivated fish filet that caters to the international mass market and cultivated fish maw, an Asian premium ingredient. Avant also holds a patent for applying its technology for producing pure marine peptide, a skincare product active ingredient.

Nick Cooney, founder and managing partner of Lever VC, says, “We are delighted to continue to back Avant, a leading cultivated fish company with a great track record and a strong base in Asia, the world's biggest seafood market and the most important one for global impact.”